The time leading up to having a baby can be exciting and filled with anticipation, not to mention lots of hormones. But what happens to all those hormones after you give birth or lose a child? The sudden shift in estrogen and progesterone can cause a pretty serious mental health shift too. Pregnant women go from having 20 to 30 times their “normal” hormone levels back to typical levels about 48-72 hours after giving birth.
Combining that rapid hormone shift with the sleep loss from the third trimester and a new baby means that’s a lot of adjusting your body and mind needs to make.
Approximately 70-80% of women feel some form of sad mood after childbirth. Most of these cases are labeled as the “baby blues” or “postpartum blues,” typically temporary. But when feelings of sadness or depression persist after the second week postpartum, they can be serious. Don’t discount any feelings of sadness after childbirth. Make sure you tell your doctor so they can keep an eye on you.
A clinical postpartum depression (PPD) diagnosis is given to approximately 20-30% of women when they exhibit postpartum blues symptoms lasting longer than a few weeks.
So to put that in perspective, about 1 in every 7 women in the US experiences postpartum depression. That’s 600,000 women. But these statistics don’t even include women who have miscarried or had stillbirths. If we include them, that’s 900,000 women.
Symptoms of Postpartum Blues and Postpartum Depression (PPD)
If you are experiencing postpartum blues, your symptoms will typically last for approximately two weeks after giving birth.
Postpartum blues symptoms can include:
- Frequent bouts of crying
- Feeling on edge
- Experiencing physical and mental exhaustion
- Worry and anxiety
- Feelings of emptiness or loneliness
- Stress and overwhelm
- Inability to cope
- Trouble sleeping
However, if you experience any of the above symptoms that last for longer than two weeks, it’s crucial you seek professional mental health assistance as soon as possible. Postpartum depression treatment could save a life.
Symptoms of more severe postpartum depression can include the above, along with:
- Feeling unlike yourself
- Frequent thoughts of “I can’t do this”
- Impatience, rage, and irritability
- Intrusive thoughts and images of harm coming to your baby
- Trouble bonding with your baby
- Difficulty concentrating
- Isolation from loved ones and your community
Postpartum depression is a serious mental health concern that can interfere with everyday life. But you aren’t alone. You owe it to yourself, your baby, and your family to work through it with a qualified professional.
Getting Help for Postpartum Depression is Critical
Whether you are experiencing postpartum blues or postpartum depression, you can benefit from getting professional help and guidance. While the baby blues often dissipate after a couple of weeks, there’s no downside in talking with someone!
And beyond the baby blues, postpartum depression can have some pretty severe consequences if left untreated. Becoming a new mom, overcoming the loss of a child, or even adding another baby to the household comes with a rollercoaster of emotions you shouldn’t expect yourself to overcome on your own.
The overall success rate for treating PPD is an astounding 80%. And studies show the sooner you get help, the higher your chances of managing your postpartum depression symptoms and recovering faster.
How We Can Help You Overcome Postpartum Depression
After your intake evaluation, we’ll work with you to develop the perfect individualized postpartum depression treatment plan designed to meet your needs and your schedule. Your postpartum depression treatment options could include psychotherapy, medication management, or a combination of the two.
Psychotherapy for Postpartum Depression
Our team of mental health professionals has plenty of experience helping new moms through postpartum depression counseling. While it’s essential to have a support network at home, talking to your partner or your friends or family isn’t quite the same as talking with a therapist.
In postpartum depression counseling at BOLD health in San Diego, you’ll work with your therapist, who will listen to your concerns, feelings, struggles, and victories without any fear of judgment.
You’ll also learn positive coping skills to manage the stresses that come along with being a new mom. (We know – there can be a lot of them!) Your BOLD Health therapist will help you learn how to recognize what triggers your worry, sadness, anxiety, and anger and provide you the tools you need to battle them long after you’ve overcome PPD.
Medication for Postpartum Depression
Not everyone requires medication to treat postpartum depression. Depending on your individual needs and symptoms, your therapist may encourage you to see one of our excellent medication providers to discuss taking medication, along with your therapy sessions.
Our skilled and experienced clinicians will evaluate your mental health concerns and prescribe the best medication, taking into consideration your emotional and physical needs. Rest assured, you won’t be prescribed medication that will interfere with your milk supply if you are breastfeeding.
Related Post: 5 Benefits of Counseling for Postpartum New Mothers
Take Control of Your PPD Symptoms
Often, women feel ashamed of feeling sad, anxious, angry, and unable to bond with their baby after giving birth. Don’t be one of those women. If you are experiencing symptoms of PPD, you are among close to 1 million other women in the U.S. (And those are the women we know about. There are likely many, many more.)
Overcoming the emotional and physical obstacles that come with having a baby is something you don’t have to do all alone. Here at BOLD Health, we provide top-notch postpartum depression treatment options in our inviting, comfortable, and non-judgmental facility in San Diego.
Our team of mental health professionals takes a BOLD approach to your care. We look beyond your struggles and diagnosis and develop a postpartum treatment plan that supports your mental health and your physical and emotional health.
Don’t wait to get help for PPD. The sooner you get the help you need, the sooner you’ll be living a fulfilling life as a mom, caring for and bonding with your beautiful baby.